Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Education and Human Resource Development in Post-Independent Eritrea: An Explanatory Note*

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Education and Human Resource Development in Post-Independent Eritrea: An Explanatory Note*

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Education is a lifelong process. Twentieth century has witnessed the miracles of Human Resource Development (HRD) activities reflected through increase in GNP and overall productive activities. The Government of Eritrea offering both formal and informal training programmes at different levels in order to develop the human resources. This prosperity in education is obviously a great thing for Eritrea, and the dream to make Eritrea a technological-oriented and advanced nation would become real, because the cumulative effort done so far in the human development is noteworthy. As Human Resource Development Programmes concentrate much on the category of major raw human resource to be processed into the work force and its role in reconstructing the economy. An attempt is made in this article to analyse the educational and human resource development after independence. This article also provides detailed account of technical and vocation education with special reference to skill development programme.

Keywords: Education, Human Resource, Development, Eritrea, Technical education.

INTRODUCTION

Education plays a dominant rôle as an effective instrument for large-scale achievement and revolution in all spheres. Purposeful education enables the individual to understand and study the real life situation and to develop an opportunity for creating confidence in the minds of younger generation, and provide a strong base for rational and value-oriented and nation-building progress (Myers & Harbison, 1965; Mingat and Tan, 1986). Technical and vocational courses in higher education play a significant role in this context. Therefore, a close introspection of the trend of technical and vocational courses in higher education is essential, not only for making them attractive, but also in shaping them to be economically and socially relevant in Eritrea (Rena, 2004). Two highly commendable features, industriousness and steadfastness characterize the people of Eritrea. The Government is investing heavily on human resources development in the conviction that among its best resources are its people. Obviously, the courses in technical and vocational education are considered as utility-oriented subjects; however they involve heavy cost to the national exchequer of Eritrea (Government of Eritrea, 1996).

The World Bank (2000) acknowledged the importance of technical and higher education for countries not to be left behind in a global economy based on knowledge. Criticizing an analysis that measures the benefits of higher education solely in terms of incremental earnings accruing to individuals, higher education is regarded as 'simultaneously improves individual's lives and enriches wider society' (World Bank, 2000: 37). Further, education is a lifelong process. What a student obtains from the school and college is only a small part of the education that needs for the economic and social life of human being. Thus, both in the case of man who is determined to reach the summit, and the man who wants to make a complete success of his life, additional education is imperative to develop the special skills. Therefore, the education must be constant and continuous programme (Myers & Harbison, 1965; Bacchus, 1992, Rena, 2005c).

The twentieth century has witnessed the miracles of Human Resource Development (HRD) activities reflected through increase in GNP and overall productive activities in industrially developed countries. Even Eritrea has experienced the GNP growth rate of 7 per cent during 1994-1997. However, it decelerated due to border conflict with Ethiopia. Details are presented in subsequent paragraphs of this article. Human resource development (HRD) in itself can be understood in different ways: HRD in its broadest sense is an all-inclusive concept, referring to the process of 'increasing the knowledge, skills and capacities of all people in a society' (Tseggai, 1999: 216), encompassing in economic terms the accumulation of human capital, in political terms preparing people for participation in democratic political processes, and in social and cultural terms helping people to lead fuller lives, less bound by tradition (Tseggai, 1999). …

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